Ella Rosetta Lohman was born July 15, 1920, in Russell County, Kansas, to Katharina and Lewis Lohmann and resided in the home of her paternal grandparents until the age of 3. At this time the family, including an older brother, Raymond, moved to a farm southeast of Wakeeney, near Trego Center, Kansas. In 1925 they moved to Voda (about 6 miles west of Wakeeney) and the family now included brother, Leroy.
In 1926 Lewis, Katy, Raymond, Ella and Leroy moved to Kearny County along with Uncle John Lohmann and his two sons, all eight of which resided in a dug-out while Ella’s Dad was building the home in which she would reside until her marriage.
In the fall of that year, Ella started first grade at Prairie Queen School, which was a 2-mile walk from home. She completed eight grades and successfully passed the county-wide tests given in the county seat of Lakin to earn her eighth grade diploma. The following fall her younger sister, Alice, began first grade and their Mother didn’t want 6-year-old Alice to make the two-mile trek by herself and sent Mom with her to school every day. Because it was apparent to the teacher that Mom would be there every day, she acquired some ninth grade text books and Mom’s education continued, though not recognized by the State of Kansas.
Ella met her husband to be during junior high while attending Sunday School with Evelyn Mueller. Sunday School was held in a country school somewhere near where Carl lived and from Ella’s description, the school building seemed to be west and a little south of the Maune home.
The following year, due to some prodding by her very good friend Evelyn (Mueller) Buck, Ella enrolled in Syracuse High School as a freshman. She lived and worked for families in exchange for her room and board. Ella was allowed to go home every other weekend, if the house was completely cleaned before she left. This was in the “dirty thirties” and her parents could not afford to drive all the way to Syracuse (about 30 miles) to pick her up. So, in order to go home for the weekend, she had to go down town to perhaps find a neighbor of her parents who would be willing to take her home. If she was fortunate enough to find a ride home, her parents or older brother, Raymond, would return her to Syracuse on Sunday evening.
In high school she again met up with Carl Maune, who had been attending school in Syracuse since about the fifth or sixth grade while boarding with the Les Daniels family. Due to Ella’s responsibilities of housework and babysitting, she never got to attend any school activities other than those held during regular school hours. The year they began dating is unknown, but the only time Carl and Ella were able to go on a date was Ella’s weekend off. They would attend movies at the Northrup Theater, but for some reason, were always late and consequently watched the last part of the movie then watch the beginning when it was shown the second time that evening.
Carl graduated from Syracuse High School in 1939. Although Ella was the same age, she started high school a year late and did not earn a high school diploma. They were married June 10, 1939. After their marriage, they lived with Carl’s parents, Charlie and Edith Maune. In 1941 they bought the home a quarter mile south and worked on it until they deemed it to be livable, quote unquote, in 1943. This two-story house had been built in 1919 from materials gleaned from an abandoned barn. In fact, evidence of previous occupancy by a cow is quite evident on some of the studs in the attic. This house had been vacant for a number of years and the interior was used as a granary. Evidence of mouse activity was readily apparent; not only from the smell and droppings, but every door had a corner chewed off by the mice to gain entry into the next room. The remodeling of this 5-room house, plus an unfinished upstairs, and a basement with dirt walls and dirt floor, continued for the next seventy years until it became a 13-room home, plus a still unfinished basement, but the walls and floor had been covered with concrete. The only problem – ONLY ONE BATHROOM.
Ella worked hand-in-hand with Carl; helping in the fields and with the cattle doing whatever needed to be done. She continued this, until Terry was old enough to help. Water was hauled to the house by the bucket until running water, via a hand pump, and eventually with a pressure tank became available. The home had no electricity until they purchased a 32-volt system with a wind charger in the late 1940’s followed closely by Rural Electric Association stringing a line through the community.
Mom was an accomplished seamstress. She made everything I wore until I was far enough along in the 4-H sewing classes to make my own. She also made shirts, suits, coats and slacks for Dad and Terry. In addition she sewed for a lot of ladies in the community. She made Lois (Lennington) Kitten’s wedding dress, my lace wedding gown along with wedding gowns for Vickie, Lorra and Connie Lohman.
Under the watchful eye of Carl and Ella, Karen and Terry had a wonderful family life. Living only about a quarter mile from Grandpa and Grandma Maune, both kids made an almost daily trek through the pasture to spend time at their house. In addition, there were many visits to Grandpa and Grandma Lohman’s home which was only about 15 miles away.
An incident that occurred when Karen was maybe 7 or 8 and Terry was 2 or 3 when Mom went to Syracuse with Grandpa and Grandma Maune, leaving us with Dad to go to town later in the day. I was supposed to get myself ready as well as dress Terry, which I did. It was summer time and I selected dark brown shorts and a very light blue short sleeved shirt (both of which Mom had made) along with his sandals and I thought he looked as cute as could be. Mom was aghast when we met up with her saying you never, ever wear brown and blue together. Buying a new outfit for the poor child was out of the question, and no place to hide him so I assume he had to spend the rest of the day in Syracuse in his mismatched clothes. Don’t recall ever wearing brown and blue together unless jeans count.
There were no regularly scheduled parent-teacher meetings when Karen and Terry were growing up; however, Mom was involved in our education, visiting with the teachers at PTA meeting, always made and delivered treats for our birthdays and she had many ideas for Halloween costumes. Since Karen never enjoyed “dressing up” for Halloween and did so only reluctantly, Terry was the one for whom Mom made many adorable costumes. These were then recycled down through the cousins.
I don’t recall Mom and Dad ever missing one of our basketball games, musical events or class plays. Our basketball regional tournament was always at Hanston, just east of Jetmore. Of course, we would sleep during the ride home; and if Kendall had won that night, the next day it was repeated. Mom and Dad must have been exhausted.
February 19, 1954, with wind speeds of 70 miles per hour, was the beginning of the “filty fifties”. As during the “dirty thirties”, because of blowing dirt, we had numerous complete “black outs” in the middle of the day. In March of 1957, a 3-day snow storm eased the severe drought and blowing dirt. Mom maintained her lawn throughout this period by using the water truck to haul water and flood it. The truck had two water tanks, which together held 1000 (???? # of gallons) gallons, strapped to the bed with a gas engine powered water pump to fill them. She sometimes hauled from a stock tank supplied by a windmill or, if there had been rain, would haul from ditch water in the lagoon 3 miles south of the house. Our bus driver and basketball coach, Tom Williams, often commented on the little oasis in the midst of all the blowing dirt, dry, brown pastures and fields.
Ella was a 4-H leader for fifty years; including club leader, sewing instructor, home beautification and woodworking leader. After a hiatus of a number of years, she jumped back into teaching woodworking to the third generation of a neighboring family.
Ella enjoyed learning how various county committees worked and was active on the Farm Bureau Board, Kearny County Museum Board and the Senior Center Board. For a number of years she drove to Lakin once a week to look up what happened that week 20, 30, 40, etc years ago for the Lakin Independent Newspaper.
When the O’Laughlin home was given to the Kearny County Museum, Ella and Lucille Dienst (sp?) worked three winters, without heat, completely restoring the entire house.
Carl had always enjoyed going to farm auctions, bringing home various items he needed, or at least thought he could use, in the farming or cattle operation. But when he started bringing home items that Ella could use or antiques she recognized, she became interested in going along. This led to attending many, many antique auctions in many states. They came home with beautiful glassware and eventually furnished their entire home with antique furniture. When needed, Ella would strip, repair and refinish the furniture and sometimes the piece was brought home in a basket, but she would either fit all the pieces together or create what was missing and come up with a beautiful finished piece. Together, they enjoyed these trips, and when the house became overcrowded with their purchases, they built on more rooms. Ella checked out books from the Garden City Library and purchased her own books to study until she became very knowledgeable about glassware and could immediately recognize whether a piece was authentic or a reproduction.
The three granddaughters were the apple of their eyes. Tammy started spending long periods of time with Grandma and Grandpa at about two and a half or three years of age. When she started school, then it was from the day after school let out until the day before it began in the fall. And, Lesli followed along when she was about 2½ or so. Discipline was not a problem. All Grandma had to do with the one misbehaving was threaten to put a postage stamp on her forehead and mail her back to her parents – problem solved – no “time outs” required!!
When the girls reached the age when they could join 4-H, they became project members of the Peppy Workers Club. With Mom and Dad’s assistance they had woodworking projects, cooking, sewing, and horse. Although the pigs were not a 4-H project, it seemed every summer Ernest Wright just happened to have two “runt” piglets for the girls. At the end of the summer, Tammy agreed to have her pig butchered, but Lesli’s pig was too much of a pet, instead she wanted to sell her pig and split the proceeds with Tammy, seemingly unaware of what the future held for the pig sold at the sale barn.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Carl Oliver Maune; her father, Lewis Lohman, her mother, Katharina (Brack) Lohman; her brothers, Raymond Lohman, Leroy Lohman, her sister, Alice Wright
She is survived by her son, Terry (and wife Judy) Maune of Kendall, KS, her daughter, Karen (and husband Delbert) Branson of Hutchinson, KS; nine Grandchildren, 13 Great Grandchildren, 13 Great Great Grandchildren And numerous family members and friends
Funeral Services were held for the Immediate Family Only on Saturday, November 27, 2021 at the Kendall Methodist Church, in Kendall, Kansas
Visitation was held on Friday, November 26, 2021 at Fellers Funeral Home LLC, Syracuse.
Graveside services were held for All Public Attendance on Saturday, November 27, 2021 at the Kendall Cemetery, Kendall, Kansas.
In Lieu of Flowers memorial contributions may be payable to the Kendall Methodist Church, and sent in care of Fellers Funeral Home LLC, P.O. Box 1253, Syracuse, KS 67878. 620-384-5100
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